Cannellini Beans for Weight Loss

cannellini beans on glass bowl

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Cannellini beans, also known as "white kidney beans," are high-fiber beans that are popular in Italy. These beans can be used in a variety of recipes because they have a mild flavor and are widely available. Cannellini beans are low in cost and are typically sold in cans, so they can be stored for a long time. In addition to being inexpensive, these beans can be beneficial for weight loss, as they are rich in fiber, protein and other helpful nutrients.

Calorie Content

Because calories are your body's source of energy, balancing the amount you eat with the amount you burn is the key to weight management. Cannellini beans can be helpful for weight loss because they are low in calories. Each 1/2 cup serving contains 90 calories, which comprises less than 5 percent of the daily suggested intake of 2,000 for an adult. You can burn the calories in cannellini beans relatively quickly -- a 10-minute swim or 9-minute jog would burn 90 calories.

Protein Content

Cannellini beans are rich in protein, with 7 grams in each 1/2 cup -- nearly twice the amount in 1/2 cup of milk. Although protein is often cited as a muscle-building nutrient, it can also aid in weight loss. Research from the May 2008 issue of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" indicates protein increases calorie burning and satiety compared to carbohydrates and fat.


Cannellini beans are high in fiber, as each 1/2 cup serving contains 6 grams of this nutrient. Fiber can be beneficial for weight loss because it can aid in managing your appetite by regulating blood sugar levels and promoting feelings of satiety.


Dietary fat is required for proper health, but reducing your fat intake is helpful when dieting. Each gram of fat provides 9 calories, more than double the amount provided by protein and carbohydrates. Because cannellini beans contain no fat, they may aid in your weight loss efforts.


Leucine is an amino acid that is often used in exercise recovery; however, its benefits are not limited to muscle building. A study from the June 2007 issue of "Diabetes" notes that leucine can help reduce body weight and body fat. Cannellini beans are rich in leucine, with nearly 2 grams in each 100 g serving.